As the Packers approach training camp, like every team, there are players who are considered on the “roster bubble.” These players don’t have any guarantees and need to fight for their position or face the possibility of starting a new career. Today, we continue our look at the guys fighting for the final spots on the Packers roster.
With the Packers pretty set on offense, the defense is the focus again with the roster bubble. Many worthy players are fighting for a spot, and while some won’t make it, you can bet that teams will be looking at these final cuts looking for a gem. We have already looked at the linebackers, but now it’s time to move back a few yards and focus on what might be the position under the most scrutiny: cornerback
The top four true corners are set with Sam Shields, Casey Hayward, Damarious Randall, and Quinten Rollins. And if you consider Micah Hyde a corner, then you have five. That leaves three players for probably one spot.
The first guy is Tay Glover-Wright. A second year player, Glover-Wright spent 11 weeks on the practice squad last season, putting him in the middle of the competition as far as experience goes. Spent his last two seasons of college at Utah State, and while he wasn’t a big turnover creator, he was assignment sure and a good tackler (52 as a senior). That trait is key for special teams, and he also has experience as a kick returner. The 6’0” 175 lb corner is a long shot but the coaches like him and that’s enough to give him a long look.
Following him is the veteran of the corners as far as age. Demetri Goodson, the 2014 draftee out of Baylor, is already 26 years old after playing basketball for four years, much like Quinten Rollins. Goodson was still adjusting to football during camp last season and made the roster as one of the final players, and ended up suiting up for six games, and finished second on the team in special teams tackles with six. A little undersized at 5’11”, Goodson has good ball skills, recording 3 interceptions and 16 passes defended his year at Baylor, which can only help him in Green Bay.
Our final corner on the bubble is the one that I personally project to make the roster. LaDarius Gunter is a highly regarded undrafted free agent out of the University of Miami (FL), and despite looks from a large portion of the league, he chose Green Bay. A tall corner at 6’2”, he profiles as a boundary corner, much like Davon House was. Gunter was viewed very positively going into the draft, profiling as a fourth or fifth round pick before falling out of the draft entirely. A solid tackler at corner, he mixes that with good coverage skills and the ability to protect the sideline very well, preferring to make the sound, smart play rather than risk being burned to go for a pick. He is more football fast than track fast, as his slow 40 time at the combine (4.66) played a large factor in his fall out of the draft.
This competition will be steep, and all three can make noise in camp and in the preseason. But with the departures of House and Tramon Williams, the sense is that a boundary corner is more necessary right now, which gives a little of an edge to Gunter, but don’t be surprised if this competition isn’t settled until the final cutdown day. It’s a good struggle to have if you’re the Packers.
Mike Wendlandt is originally from Iola, Wisconsin and graduated from Drake University in 2015 with a degree in History. With a significant journalism background both in writing and broadcasting, Mike can be heard as the play-by-play voice of Central Wisconsin High School sports on WDUX FM 92.7 and on Twitter @MikeWendlandt.
Mike Wendlandt is a writer covering the Green Bay Packers for PackersTalk.com.